3 Tips for Returning to Work After a Workers Compensation Injury
3 Tips for Returning to Work After a Work Injury
Columbus Georgia Lawyer Mark Jones Discusses Return to Work Issues in a Workers Compensation Case
A very common issue injured workers face in Georgia when recovering from a work injury is company doctors that want the employee to return to work full duty well before the injured worker has recovered from his/her work related injury.
If you are not able to return to work, it is critical that you tell your workers comp doctor that you do not feel you are able to return to work, stating specifically what symptoms you are experiencing that prevent you from doing your former job and stating specifically what job duties you are not able to perform.
If the workers compensation doctor still insists on returning you to work, you do have a few options.
(1) If you have a full duty return to work, you should report back to work in most cases.
If you have been hurt on the job and your workers comp doctor has ordered you to go back to work, you should do so. If you have a lawyer, you should contact your attorney before you return to work, however. Depending on your injury and job type, your attorney may be able to discuss with the workers compensation adjuster or defense attorney an incremental return to work whereby you slowly are returned to full duty at your job.
(2) If you return to work and cannot do the job or your work injury is reinjured from the return to work, contact your lawyer
If you return to work and you find that you cannot do the job you once did, even after a full duty release, you should contact your lawyer immediately. Your lawyer has a few options that may assist you in proving that you are still injured and cannot do the job.
For instance, your lawyer might be able to get a second opinion by changing your workers compensation physician to another doctor on your employers workers compensation panel under OCGA 34-9-201. Or, your attorney might be able to obtain an independent medical evaluation (IME) pursuant to Board Rule 202(e).
If you are reinjured, then you should report the injury immediately to your supervisor and request to see the workers compensation doctor again. You should then contact your lawyer for legal advice.
(3) If you return to work, with restrictions, do not violate those restrictions.
Sometimes the employer might offer you a light duty job to comply with your light duty restrictions from your workers compensation doctor. Whether the employer complied with the light duty restrictions issued by your doctor, is another issue entirely for a separate blog post. Suffice it to say, you should never exceed the restrictions on your work given by your workers compensation doctor.
If the employer asks you to exceed your restrictions, politely decline. Carry a copy of your restrictions with you to present to any supervisor suggesting you exceed your work restrictions. Do not be mean. The main issue in your case is your credibility, and you want to do everything the doctor and human decency require of you. Simply politely decline to do anything work-related that is not within your work restrictions.
If you have a full duty return to work after suffering an on-the-job injury, you need a lawyer who will fight for you to make sure you are treated fair. Call Mark Jones for a free consultation regarding your case now at 866-521-MARK or 706-225-2555.
[schema type=”organization” orgtype=”Organization” url=”www.lawyermarkjones.com” name=”Law Offices of Mark P. Jones” description=”3 Tips for Returning to Work After a Work Injury” street=”233 12th St #600″ city=”Columbus” state=”GA” postalcode=”31901″ email=”email@example.com” phone=”706-225-2555″ fax=”706-225-2556″ ]